Richard Hatch, the winner of the first ever season of the CBS reality TV show, “Survivor”, and a current contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice”, has finally surrendered himself to U.S. marshals to start a 9-month prison sentence for tax evasion. He was sentenced due to his repeated failure to pay tax on his $1 million prize for “Survivor” win (2000), despite serving an earlier jail term for the same offence. However, a powerful friend, Donald Trump, wants to help him.
Hatch arrived at U.S. District Court in Providence, Rhode Island (March 15), and protested his innocence. He has lodged an appeal with the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.
This is not the first prison sentence Hatch is facing for tax evasion. He was released in 2009 after serving 3 years but was still on a 3-year term of supervised release, during which he was supposed to re-file his 2000 and 2001 tax returns and pay his debts. But he didn’t do that.
So, last week, a U.S. District Court Judge ordered Hatch back to prison. At the hearing, Hatch said he was working with an accountant to determine what he still owed to the IRS (around $2 million, including taxes on his “Survivor” winnings and penalties), but he ran out of time on Monday and his request for an extension was refused.
However, in the last few hours, Donald Trump, the host of “Celebrity Apprentice”, has spoken of his surprise at Hatch’s imprisonment, stating that he thought he had already served his time. That conveniently sidesteps how Richard Hatch was still supposed to pay back the money he owed but failed to do so.
“[Helping him is] something I’d think about… If he makes it to the finals – and I’m not saying he is – I’m sure we can get him time off for good behavior,” said Trump, who could buy and sell Richard Hatch many times over.
So what do you think the original “Survivor”, Richard Hatch, being in prison right now? What about Donald Trump’s offer to help him?